Breaking Booties (By Oleta Renee)

You’ve seen me in them multiple times this week, and yes, it’ll keep happening… It’s the same comment every time. “Aw, that dog has little shoes!”

There are two problems with this… no, three.

  • 1. They are called booties, not “little shoes’. I make this distinction because
  • 2. ‘Little shoes’ sounds cute. They are not cute. It’s easy to become confused, I’m sure, considering my high level of fashionality, but they are part of the job. They protect my paws in extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and from salt and chemicals on the road in freezing conditions.
  • 3. Also, they are highly uncomfortable. We dogs are built much sturdier than you humans, and while getting salt stuck between your paw pads or dancing on street corners because of the heat is definitely unpleasant, I almost prefer it to wearing such a ridiculous form of attire. During booty season, Shea is fond of telling me, “Oleta, it’s really not that bad. I wear shoes every day!” But here’s the thing… I don’t!
  • Admittedly, there is one slight benefit to wearing booties. They give me all kinds of traction… which means wherever I want Shea to go, she goes. Now, I don’t take advantage of this very often. Usually, it’s helpful to keep both of us from sliding on ice, and so much more fun than slipping around on the slick tile in those college buildings of ours… at dinner time though… we’re goin’ home, and with my four-paw drive, there’s not much Shea can do about it. Hey, don’t judge me… this is a give and give relationship. Shea gives me booties, I give her attitude. Fair is fair.

    That said, booties are part of guide work, and I love my job, so as much as I detest them, I will keep wearing them for the sake of keeping Shea safe… don’t tell Shea I said that though.

    P.S.
    The title of this post is, yes, a play on the show title “Breaking Bad’, because my chosen career is so bachelor of arts (BA) in general, but it’s really more about my sincere desire to actually break my booties. Just thought I should clarify. Until next time, over and out.

    Need Some Expert Testemony? (By Oleta Renee)

    Wow… It’s been a while, but Shea is currently working on a speech, and ignoring me I might add, so I thought I might contribute to the blog, since she’s been such a terrible blog authoress (blauthoress? I like it.) She’s been a terrible blauthoress, so I’m lending a paw to the cause.
    The speech on which she is currently working happens to be on the subject of guide dogs, a subject on which I happen to be well versed. Her professor is always talking about how one should have “expert testimony” to support their claims. She is concerned, because she was crazy this week with midterms and didn’t have time to call and interview a guide dog trainer as she wanted to do, but I think she is missing a crucial detail here. SHE literally lives with an expert on guide dogs and guide dog training! Hello… why bother calling a human guide dog trainer when you can just interview the guide dog? Sometimes Shea makes no sense!
    So, I just wanted to let you guys know, if you ever need some expert testimony on guide dogs, I would be more than pleased to offer my expertise.
    Professionally,
    Oleta Renee

    Aside

    Hi! I’m… Who am I exactly? (By Oleta Renee)

    So here’s the thing… in trying to introduce myself, I realized I’m in a bit of an identity crisis.

    I am originally from New York, Patterson, New York to be exact, and I grew up with my AWESOME puppy raiser around there, but I’ve heard through the grapevine (that is to say Shea and the people we meet on a day to day basis) that labrador retrievers as a race (breed is so demeaning) began in Newfoundland, whereas Newfoundland dogs claim they are routed in Labrador… weird!  So, really, should I even be calling myself a labrador, if we came from Newfoundland, and am I Canadian, or American?  But then, people don’t talk about American or Canadian labs, they talk about American or British labs, which makes no sense at all!  So, am I American, Canadian, or British?  And shouldn’t they be talking about American, Canadian, and British Newfoundlands, not labs? 

    People tell me I’m an American Lab (Newfoundland?), which basically means I’m stunningly gorgeous in comparison to those stocky, blocky, British labs.  I am inclined to agree with them.  THere’s no doubt I’m slim, trim, and looking American, right down to the stars and stripes pin on my harness.  Besides, no offense to Canada or England, but America is the best.  I’ll have to expand on that in a future post.

    So, with that decided…

    Hello, my name is Oleta Renee, and I am a black, American labrador retriever, except I’m actually a labrador guide dog.  Shea is my person/Mom/best friend/partner in…er…completely legal activities.  I have earned my doctoral degree in guide work (attained at the acclaimed University of Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, NY), and went back to receive a human high school diploma with Shea.  I am now currently studying music, with a minor in squirrel management and dog therapy at Shea’s university in Nashville.  By the way, fellow educated canines, if you are thinking about getting a degree in squirrel management, my university is a great place to do it… a lot of practical experience.

    Anyway, you will come to know me and more about my work as I post along with Shea on our blog.  I look forward to getting to know y’all as well!  Guide dog friends, make sure you drop in so we can swap guiding tails (see what I did there?).  

    Off for a frappuccino on the patio with Mom.  (What? You don’t think she’ll give me a sip?)Image